Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Middle names may come in handy for those daughters who, having grown up, decide they don't like their first name. At least, it appears so in the case of that photograph we viewed yesterday. While the picture of the family of William Malphus and Clara Alice Knapp provided the children's names as Richard, Ellen, Hazel and Myrtle, that certainly didn't agree with the records we located from the U. S. Census for the daughters in the Knapp family. According to the 1900 census, their names should have been Maud H., Clara M., and Corintha E.
Granted, it would have been easy enough to assume those initials could have represented H. for Hazel, E. for Ellen, and M. for Myrtle, but what if that was entirely incorrect? We need some documentation to boost our supposition.
Since looking at the next census record did nothing for us, other than add three more children to the Knapp family roster—two of whom were sons, by the way, with the final addition being a daughter named Florence A. Knapp—we need to look elsewhere for some verification.
Think wedding bells for the next stop in this search. At least for two of the three older daughters, that was enough to confirm our guesses.
We found the family in Major County, Oklahoma, in that 1910 census, and it turns out we didn't need to look far from there to find any marriage records. And not long after that 1910 census, either—which makes sense for a widow with several teenaged daughters at the time. After their father's death in 1908, the first child to marry was Maud Hazel Knapp, who married Orville J. Holland in 1911.
We can connect another middle name with its counterpart from the census at the marriage of Ellen Corintha Knapp, who married Bennie McMullen in 1915. So far, we've found written documentation matching two of the three daughters' names.
But Myrtle? While Myrtle Knapp did get married—in 1912, to Arthur Floyd McNown—she was careful, in that marriage record, to only be listed by one given name. It wasn't until the couple moved to California and then registered to vote, that we finally discover a record juxtaposing Myrtle's middle name with her true first name: Clara.
While that may solve the dilemma of matching first and middle names that didn't align from government records to family labels on photographs, we still have a few more puzzles to solve, in the form of additional photographs linked to this Knapp family. Tomorrow, we'll meet Flora and see where she fit into the family constellation.